There is so much to see and do during your time at Pen-y-bryn Lodge that it's hard to know where to start. The activities, tours and treatments on this page are among those that we believe our guests are most likely to enjoy, but there are many others, too. If you'd like to be sure not to miss the opportunity for any of these, they can be reserved when making your reservation on our booking page, or you can contact us directly by email to make your reservation for you or to ask any questions about these and other activities.
Oamaru and the surrounding countryside are perfect for casual cyclists, offering beautiful scenery, rolling hills and pleasant climate for cycling. For the more adventurous, there is the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, the longest in New Zealand, which would take six days to traverse at a leisurely pace. Fortunately, we also offer a "taster" of this iconic route, taking in some of the more scenic and close-by sections. Additional routes are also available, and of course you are welcome to borrow one of the lodge's cycles to wander the area at your own pace. And with our position on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, kayak (or canoe) tours are another popular option, giving you the chance to get up close and personal with some of our marine wildlife and see our beautiful town from a different perspective.
Join an experience guide for a personalised tour of Oamaru’s distinctive historic centre, the best-preserved historic town in New Zealand. Your guide will take you through this beautiful area, explaining the background to the buildings, how the town came to be one of the most important in the Southern Hemisphere, and the role it played in the development of New Zealand’s economy. Tours last approximately two hours. NZ$70 per couple. Limited to six guests per outing.
Drive with your guide to Kakanui, where you will get on the bikes (supplied) and depart via quiet country roads for the mouth of the Waianakarua River, following the Pacific Coast, visiting All Day Bay, Orore Point and the unhindered ocean views. Very few gradients, minor fitness required. Total of approximately 2-1/2 hours cycling time. Half-day total duration including driving, cycling and ice cream stops. NZ$325 per couple. Please advise bike and helmet size well in advance. Limited to maximum of four guests.
Drive from Oamaru with your guide via Ngapara toward Elephant Rocks where you will get on bicycles (supplied) for a scenic circle of this beautiful portion of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail, taking in Prydes Gully, Island Cliff and Cants Road. Return to Elephant Rocks via quiet country roads. Moderate fitness required. Cycle time is approximately four hours, including breaks. NZ$425 per couple. Please advise bike and helmet size well in advance. Limited to four guests.
Keen to experience NZ's longest and most scenic bike trail, but only have one day to spare? Vertical Ventures will take you for a day tour that will allow you to experience some of the "best bits" during the course of a day, customising it to your specific interests as well as the day's riding conditions. NZ$1250 per couple, NZ$250 for additional travellers.
This is a truly memorable experience with the chance to encounter New Zealand’s most spectacular marine wildlife. Start in the beautiful calm waters of Oamaru's historic harbour then paddle out in stable canoes around the naturally rugged coastline to discover a variety of wildlife, including the Little Blue Penguin (Korari), the rare Yellow Eyed Penguin (Hoiho), Sea Lion (Kekeno) and more. This tour is dependent on weather and sea conditions therefore your guide may vary the trip itinerary based on their judgement of conditions on the day. NZ$125 per adult, NZ$95 per child 15 and under.
The Waitaki District, with its quiet roads and beautiful scenery, offers several options for driving tours. For those who are happy to get behind the wheel themselves, we have plenty of routes for you to follow and you will surely enjoy the experience immensely. However, if you prefer a break from the driving, or simply want to be able to enjoy more time to relax, we offer several driving tours with qualified and experienced local guides.
This tour is all about going off-road, leaving the sealed road behind at Livingstone and heading over the stunning Danseys Pass. Stop at the Danseys Pass Hotel for lunch, followed by gold panning at Kyeburn and a visit to beautiful Naseby and the Maniototo Ranges before returning to Oamaru via the majestic “Pig Root”. NZ$650 per person. Limited to maximum of four guests.
Your guide will take you from Oamaru to the historic towns of Ngapara and Enfield before reaching Elephant Rocks for a visit to these curious limestone formations and the nearby Maori Rock Art and Vanished World centre. Continue westward toward Kurow, taking lunch at one of the vineyards while discussing the wines with the resident winemaker. Then continue further up the valley for a scenic drive around the lakes, dams and back to Oamaru. NZ$400 per person. Maximum of four guests.
Visit Old Town Oamaru and the historic harbour, together with a guided tour at Totara Estate and Clark’s Mill (on Sundays only). Drive inland to Elephant Rocks, the Maori rock art and the fossils of Anitini and the Vanished World Trail before enjoying a lunch and moving on the wineries of Kurow. Return to Pen-y-bryn by 4pm. NZ$400 per person. Limited to maximum of four guests.
Your guide will take you for a scenic drive along the beautiful Waitaki River Valley, stopping in the charming town of Kurow for morning tea. Cross the river to the Waimate side to drive up the Hakataramea River Road to Station Peak for stunning 360-degree views of the mountains and lakes. Return to the river and head to Ikawai before returning to the lodge. NZ$400 per person. Limited to maximum of four guests.
An afternoon tour leaving the Lodge at 4pm. Drive south to Moeraki Lighthouse to view the Yellow-Eyed Penguins, fur seals and more. Call in at the Moeraki Boulders and return to the Lodge in time for canapes and dinner! NZ$275 per couple.
As beautiful as the Waitaki District is from ground-level, there's nothing to compare with seeing it from the air. Our air tours are conducted in Cessna 172 propeller planes with a skilled pilot-guide at the helm. There is no better way to see this beautiful section of New Zealand!
Fly with an experienced pilot in a Cessna propeller plane over the beautiful landscape of Oamaru, following the coast down to Moeraki before heading inland to see the Macraes gold fields and other sights. Land in Omarama for lunch at the Lady Bird Hill winery, where you can also try your hand at casting for salmon in their stocked pond. Time will allow for you also to enjoy a soak in the nearby hot tubs or go for a gliding flight (priced separately). Return via the Waitaki Valley, flying over the hydrolakes and the wineries of Kurow before landing back in Oamaru in the late afternoon. NZ$1000 per flight. Maximum of three guests. Departure is dependent on weather. Alternate routes may be available during inclement weather. Time allows for guests to enjoy Omarama hot tub or gliding flight, at an additional cost.
Fly with an experienced pilot in a small propeller plane over the beautiful landscape of Oamaru, following the coast down to Moeraki before heading inland to see the Macraes gold fields and other sights. Flight time is approximately one hour and flights are weather-dependent. NZ$225 per person. Limited to three guests. Departure is dependent on weather. Alternate routes may be available during inclement weather.
Enjoy the thrill of powerless flight in the nearby town of Omarama, regarded as one of the world’s premier sites for gliding. You and a pilot will spend an hour enjoying the view over the beautiful Waitaki Valley, the Southern Alps and the Waitaki and Ahuriri Rivers for a trip you won’t soon forget! Booking will be contingent on weather and suitable flight conditions. NZ$465 per flight. Limit one passenger per flight. Flights are weather dependent.
Fly over Lake Tekapo, up the Godley River crossing the Armadillo and Tasman Saddle before flying down the Tasman Glacier and Lake Pukaki before returning via the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru. NZ$750 per flight. Limited to two guests. Departure is dependent on weather. Alternate routes may be available during inclement weather.
The clean clear waters of New Zealand offer prime fishing spots, and many rivers around the country draw countless anglers each year. The rivers of the Waitaki are renowned throughout New Zealand for the quality of the salmon and trout, but are not as well known overseas, so there are far fewer crowds. Furthermore, we have rich fishing grounds just off the coast, teeming with blue cod, hapuku, and tarakihi, among other fish. And there's nothing quite like being out on the open sea vying with the orcas, penguins and dolphins for your catch!
Join an experienced local fishing guide on an outing to the Waitaki River and lakes. You’ll be collected from Pen-y-bryn in the morning, taken to the water where you’ll enjoy a full day of fishing. Instruction is provided if needed. Half-day packages also available; enquire for pricing and availability. NZ$600 per person. Limited to four guests.
Head out from Oamaru or Moeraki (depending on availability) on your outing to try your hand at catching the bounty of these rich fishing waters while enjoying the beautiful scenery of our coastline. Don't be surprised if you run across pods of dolphins, rafts of blue penguins or the occasional orca looking for a meal, too. NZ$500 per outing.
After taking in all that there is to do in Oamaru, and throughout New Zealand, why not take the time for a bit of relaxation? Fortunately, there are several options for a bit of pampering in the Oamaru area, and these are just a sampling of what is on offer.
Therapeutic Massage – experience the healing qualities of massage as your therapist focuses specifically on areas of tension to bring deep relief to your aching muscles. Each massage treatment is tailored specifically to you as an individual and is delivered with professionalism and excellence. Beulah’s skills and knowledge combined will leave you feeling re-energised. NZ$115
This treatment starts with a honey sugar scrub exfoliation. Then a warm cocoa butter is massaged over the whole body, followed by the hot cocoa body wrap. Your body is wrapped while you enjoy a warming mud face mask and scalp massage. Treatment is finished with a full body gentle massage and remoisturisation (allow 2 hours). NZ$250 per person.
Imagine soaking in blissfully hot water as you soak in views out across Pacific Ocean, or the massive expanse of stars in the night sky above you. Just beautiful! And for the ultimate experience, add on a visit to the sauna for even more relaxation! NZ$75 per person.
One of the South Island’s two reflexology trainers is based in Oamaru, and will come to Pen-y-bryn to offer you a range of massage and other treatments. As an example, enjoy a 50-minute long session that is sure to work out all the stresses of modern life. NZ$125 per person.
3-1/2 hours of treatments of your choice, with drinks and nibbles provided. Please enquire if you would like to see other options for treatments. NZ$350 per person.
Six hours of treatments of your choice, with drinks and lunch provided. A range of other treatments is also available; please contact us for details and bookings.
Soak in a private hot tub overlooking the Southern Alps in Omarama, 75 minutes’ drive from Oamaru. NZ$60 per person.